Leadership Trends with Casey Graham

Why Church Leaders Need Business Leaders

So do church leaders have anything to learn from business leaders?

While that’s a bit of a controversial subject among some church leaders, Casey Graham thinks church leaders should lose the stigma of associating with business leaders, and that business leaders can also benefit from time spent with pastors.

Casey is the CEO and founder of The Rocket Company, a rapidly growing organization that helps church leaders with preaching, giving and volunteering. The Rocket Company recently won the InfusionSoft 2013 Ultimate Marketer of the Year contest for its growth and business strategy.

But before that, Casey and Rocket Company Executive Director Michael Lukaszewski were both pastors. They understand both worlds well.

In our interview, you’ll hear some great observations from Casey, including these:

Of the 5000 church leaders Casey serves with the Rocket Company, the most successful churches are the ones that connect with business leaders.

While great church leaders connect with business leaders instinctively, all pastors can do it.

We have to get past the stigma of paying attention to business leaders.

Because of the stigma attached to pastors spending time with business leaders, business leaders are often the most ignored community in the church.

Most church leaders didn’t sign up to be the CEOs of their churches.

Fear of turning the church into a business scares people off.

Business leaders are often lonely because they’re so busy running their business; they need friends.

How business and marketplace leaders can become some of your best inviters of unchurched people to your church.

Why church leaders need to invest in coaching; like business leaders do.

How to use a coach strategically.

Why bad coaches are better than no coaches.

So without further delay, here’s Casey.

[tentblogger-youtube auUCjyG2tL0]

Some memorable quotes:

Jesus loved everybody the same, but treated them completely differently.

In leadership, we feel like have to treat everyone the same. The reality is we have to love everyone the same.

The business community is one of the most left out communities inside the church in so many different ways.

The business leader is not afraid to talk about making money.

How to create margin, how to lead a staff, how to lead under pressure is the stuff of the business world. So the best church leaders connect with the best business leaders because it keeps them on top of their game in areas in where they otherwise might not be growing.

The church isn’t a business; it’s a body. But just because it isn’t a business doesn’t mean you never have to deal with advertising.

If you’re pushing back, don’t take an offering and do this in your spare time.

Principles are principles. The key is what your motivation is and what your heart is.

Don’t get with business leaders so you can get something for them. Just connect with business leaders.

If you don’t have someone helping you go further faster, you’re going to get stuck.

You have to invest money in leadership coaches. Don’t view them as an expense.

Even a bad coach is better than no coach, because even a bad coach will get you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t have done.

By the way, here’s the link to the blog article Casey mentioned on how to have amazing friendships.

So what do you think? Do you think church leaders can learn from business leaders, and that church leaders have something to offer business leaders?

How can we get better together?


  1. […] Leadership Trends With Casey Graham by Carey Nieuwhof.  In this post Carey interviews Casey about how pastors and church leaders can better disciple the business leaders within their church.  It is the best 16 minutes I invested all week and will change how you view the business community. […]

  2. Rosalee Laws on December 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    What a great video. I definitely agree church leaders can learn from business owners and vice versa. I like to think of it as both churches and businesses are “organizations,” both having goals to grow. I have had the unique opportunity and pleasure to know and work with thousands of religious leaders all over the world but also a background in business and fortune 500 companies and technology. I have seen some of the best leaders both business and religious leaders share many of the same traits in how they run things.

  3. Michael Pratt on July 29, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Those skilled in business bring skills and leadership understanding that I don’t have. They add to the leadership team in a significant way. Great post. Pull those business leaders in and learn from them.

  4. Justin on July 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    How do you go about finding a coach? Do you just approach a person doing what you want and ask them?

  5. Derwin L. Gray on July 26, 2013 at 9:37 am


  6. Kasey Van Daley on July 26, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Not only is it important for business and church leaders to connect, I think it’s important that good business leaders take their expertise in organizational leadership, and help apply it to the church as an organization (similar to the idea of coaching discussed). The church is not a business, but it is an organization where people have to be led well in order for its mission to be accomplished. Great interview and post!

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